Speaks with fellow 1980 Eagles alum, U.S. Marshal Peter J. Elliot
Begun Center Director Daniel J. Flannery and Director of the United States Marshals Service for the Northern District of Ohio Peter J. Elliott – creator of the Fugitive Safe Surrender (FSS) program and with whom, either by coincidence or providence, Dan attended grade school and St. Edward High School (Class of ’80) – spoke to seniors at their alma mater on Monday.
The two have teamed-up over the past decade in collaboration on the FSS program, a unique, creative, and highly successful initiative that encourages persons wanted for non-violent felony or misdemeanor crimes to voluntarily surrender to the law in a faith-based or other neutral setting, a program which has been replicated across the country.
Marshal Elliot devised the program, the Begun Center provides evaluation services and has been onsite at over 20 FSS operations since 2006. And Dr. Flannery’s book chronicling the program, ‘Wanted on Warrants: The Fugitive Safe Surrender Program,’ was published last year. (Note: It was also made the St. Ed’s senior’s summer reading list this year.)
“Marshal Elliott would often say, ‘Desperate people do desperate things,’” Dan has pointed out. “Fugitive Safe Surrender is a way to take the desperation out of the situation and interaction that people with open warrants could have with law enforcement. And that’s why and how the program started here in Cleveland.”
Dan always notes that it was the death of Pete Elliott’s friend, Cleveland Police Officer Wayne Leon, that was the cause for what has become a successful, nationwide program. Dan quotes an observation made by Pete, culled from his years and experience: “Two of the most dangerous situations that officers find themselves in are serving warrants and traffic stops.”
In addition, the Begun Center recently participated in the first ever Juvenile Safe Surrender program held in late September. A product of the adult Fugitive Safe Surrender program, the four-day pilot had 131 young people who came forward and participated. Those who participated in the program were not given amnesty but did receive favorable consideration for turning themselves in. They also got free legal representation.